As part of the Soul of the Pilgrim online retreat I am experiencing, each participant is invited to write a daily reflection and create a mandala from that reflection.
Yesterday, I didn't have time to get to my coursework until the afternoon. On my drive home from a meeting, words began spilling out, leaping and cavorting to be expressed.
I gave them way.
And from those words, a mandala created itself as I gave into my creative urge to express itself without censure, criticism or coercive desire to be anything other than what appears on the page.
It is a challenging process, this creating without coercion. To let it be, I must let be my desire to make it perfect, make it exactly the way I want to see it be, as opposed to the way it desires to become.
I am... a control freak. Okay, maybe not a freak, but I do like control. Who doesn't? Control, or at least the illusion of control, makes me feel safe.
Yet, in its very aura of safety, I am most unsafe. For in the illusion of control, I give myself up to the notion that I can predict and direct the outcome. Ha! I can't control nor direct the outcome of the world around me. Heck, I can't really direct the outcome of my efforts to create. All I can engage in is the creative process -- and when I let what appears, appear, I give up the need to control what happens as I become part of its happening.
Take for example the 14 Days of Poetry I gifted my beloved on Valentine's Day. It's become 16 days and I am letting it have its way without predicting its duration. When I began I was very connected to controlling both the process and the outcome. I wanted him to respond to my script, and I wanted each poem to be perfect. Ha!
When I shift, everything shifts.
My expected/desired outcomes flew out the window as we both immersed ourselves in the journey of understanding one another and letting go of expectations of the other. In letting go of the need to control the outcome, love deepened, our experience of one another expanded, and harmony abounded. And now, we both are experiencing the joy of the creative process of expressing our love for one another.
Which leads me to the conclusion, control is not all it's cracked up to be.
When I am busy trying to control people, things, experiences, I am busy avoiding the experience of people, things, experiences. And in my avoidance, fear deepens, not lessens because -- Avoidance strengthens fear.
In my fear, I struggle to wrestle the future, the moment, and the past into something I can control and manage.
In my fear, I struggle to wrestle people, things and experiences into people, things and experiences i can control and manage.
In my open-hearted embrace of letting of controlling behaviours that limit my acceptance of people, things and experiences, the past is filled with love, the present with joy and the future with the anticipation of the miracles that can happen when I release my hold on seeing into the future. In opening up to being out of control in the here and now, I fall with grace into Love, living joyfully in the rapture of now where the future is yet to come.